ADA accommodation question: what's difference between reassign to a vacant position and change supervisor? Seems to me the same.

Asked over 1 year ago - San Jose, CA

I have depression because of work related stress and requested to HR for accommodation. ADA guideline says reassign to a vacant position is reasonable accommodation but change supervisor is not. I don't understand what's the difference. Does the vacant position has to be under the same supervisor?
Besides, I have bad memories and less concentration because of depression, Can I ask for lower performance expectation? What else I can request?

Thank you in advance for your expert advice.

Additional information

I got it that lower performance expectation is not accommodation. Can someone please tell me the difference of reassign to a vacant position and change supervisor. Thanks.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Christine C McCall


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your post points out a fundamental misconception about ADA reasonable accommodation law, one that is widespread and dangerous for employees. You ask: "Can I ask for lower performance expectation?"

    "Reasonable accommodation" is measured by the reasonableness to the employer of alternative methods and practices for getting the bought-and-paid-for performance from the employee. It is not a legal mandate that forces the employer into providing employment as a charitable subsidy for the claimant, and not a legally sanctioned excuse for not doing the job.

    Lower expectations? What would you contend is "reasonable" to require of the employer? Are you suggesting that you provide half of what the employer is paying for? Less than that? More? How long will it take before your employer has a workforce comprised of 100% depressed employees who each and all are demanding to be kept on the job with lower performance requirements? Think about it.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more
  2. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You've received some great answers to your very similar question here:

    A "reasonable accommodation" means that the essential (main) job duties remain the same, but the method of performing those duties changes to make it possible for the employee with a disability to perform those duties.

    You cannot expect an employer to allow lower performance, but you can certainly request a lower position.

    The reasonable accommodation process is fact-specific and you will be better-served if you learn about the process before getting much further along. It is always wise to consult with or retain an attorney. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

    I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the... more

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